Celebrating the Spirit of Democracy: Constitution Day in Nepal

Saurav Singh
10 Min Read
Constitution Day in Nepal

Nepal observes Constitution Day with a sense of pride and reverence, marking the anniversary of the day when the country adopted its constitution. This day is a national holiday that reflects Nepal’s journey towards establishing a system of governance that resonates with the values of democracy, inclusion, and the rule of law. The constitution symbolizes the aspirations of the Nepali people for peace, prosperity, and social justice. Constitution Day is not just a celebration of the legal document itself but also an opportunity to educate and remind citizens of their rights and responsibilities enshrined within it. It’s a day to reflect on the progress made and the challenges that lie ahead in fulfilling the promises of the Constitution.

HISTORY OF CONSTITUTION DAY IN NEPAL

Nepal, a country with a rich tapestry of history and culture, observes Constitution Day to celebrate the promulgation of its constitution, a significant step in the nation’s journey towards democracy and rule of law. The day marks the culmination of Nepal’s long-standing efforts to establish a system of governance that reflects the aspirations and diversity of its people. The path to the current Constitution of Nepal, which was adopted on September 20, 2015, is a narrative of resilience and determination. The history of constitutional development in Nepal is punctuated by a series of significant events that reflect the nation’s struggle for political reform and representation.

The pre-constitutional period began with the formation of the State of Nepal in 1768, where royal edicts and key Hindu scriptures formed the law of the land. However, the political landscape underwent a dramatic shift following the Kot Parba, a court massacre in 1846, which led to the Rana family’s rise to power and the subsequent marginalization of the Shah Kings. The first constitution of Nepal was introduced in 1948, known as the Government of Nepal Act, which laid out the framework for a parliamentary system. Despite the progressive step, the constitution was short-lived due to political turmoil and power struggles within the ruling elite.

The Interim Constitution of 1951 marked a pivotal moment, as it was drafted with the assistance of Indian experts and aimed to establish a democratic framework for governance. This period also witnessed the end of the Rana rule and the reinstatement of the Shah Kings’ authority. Over the years, Nepal’s constitutional landscape saw several iterations, each reflecting the changing political dynamics and the quest for a more inclusive and representative governance structure. The Constitution of 1990 introduced multiparty democracy, and the Interim Constitution of 2007 paved the way for the abolition of the monarchy and the declaration of Nepal as a federal democratic republic.

Constitution Day, first observed in 2016, commemorates the endorsement of the 2015 Constitution, which was a result of the Second Constituent Assembly’s efforts following the failure of the first assembly to draft a constitution. The 2015 Constitution embodies the principles of federalism and aims to address the needs and rights of all Nepali citizens, including those from marginalized communities. The observance of Constitution Day is not just a celebration of a document; it is a reflection of Nepal’s enduring spirit to forge a democratic identity that honors its past while embracing the future. It is a day that stands as a testament to the collective will of the Nepali people to build a nation based on the foundations of equality, justice, and freedom.

SIGNIFICANCE OF CONSTITUTION DAY IN NEPAL

Constitution Day in Nepal, known as Sambidhan Diwas, is a profound celebration of the country’s democratic achievements and aspirations. Observed annually on Asoj 3rd in the Nepali calendar, it marks the promulgation of the “Constitution of Nepal 2072,” a document that embodies the nation’s commitment to democracy, federalism, secularism, and social justice. This day is a reflection of the long-standing struggle and sacrifices of the Nepalese people to establish a governance system led by their elected representatives, ending centuries of monarchical rule. The constitution enshrines the rights and freedoms of the citizens, recognizing the diverse linguistic and cultural fabric of the nation, and sets a framework for inclusive development and social harmony. Constitution Day serves not only as a reminder of the historical journey of Nepal but also as a day to reaffirm the collective resolve to uphold the values and principles that define the nation’s identity and sovereignty.

The Constitution of Nepal, promulgated in 2072 B.S. (2015 A.D.), is a testament to the enduring spirit of the Nepalese people. It represents the culmination of a long-standing aspiration to have a constitution drafted by elected representatives, a dream that took 65 years to realize. The constitution embodies the principles of republicanism, federalism, secularism, proportional inclusiveness, and social justice. It is a document that has forever ended the rule of monarchs and dynasties, paving the way for a system where power truly belongs to the people.

CONSTITUTION DAY IN NEPAL CELEBRATION

Constitution Day in Nepal, known as “Sambidhan Diwas,” is a significant national holiday that commemorates the promulgation of the country’s constitution. Celebrated on September 20th, it marks the day in 2015 when Nepal adopted its new constitution, which established Nepal as a federal democratic republic and laid the foundation for its citizens’ rights and duties. The day is observed with great enthusiasm across the nation. Government offices, educational institutions, and public spaces are adorned with national flags and decorations. Various programs, including parades, cultural performances, and speeches by dignitaries, highlight the importance of the constitution and the democratic values it enshrines. It’s a day of reflection on the journey of Nepal’s constitutional development and a celebration of the aspirations of its people for peace and prosperity. Constitution Day serves as a reminder of the strides Nepal has made in governance and the ongoing commitment to uphold the principles of democracy and rule of law.

FACTS ABOUT CONSTITUTION DAY IN NEPAL

Here are some interesting facts about CONSTITUTION DAY IN NEPAL:

  • Constitution Day in Nepal, known as Sambidhan Diwas, is celebrated on Asoj 3 of the Nepali calendar to commemorate the promulgation of the country’s constitution.
  • The current Constitution of Nepal was adopted on September 20, 2015, marking the nation’s transition from a constitutional monarchy to a federal democratic republic.
  • This day is a public holiday in Nepal, observed with various programs, including parades and public speeches, to honor the significance of the constitution and its contribution to the country’s governance.
  • The Constitution of Nepal 2072 (2015) is the seventh constitution written in Nepal’s history but is notably the first to be issued by the people’s elected representatives.
  • It established fundamental features such as republicanism, federalism, secularism, proportional inclusiveness, and social justice.
  • The constitution has 35 parts, 308 articles, and nine schedules, and it asserts the freedom, sovereignty, and autonomy of the Nepali people while maintaining the country’s independence and territorial integrity.
  • It aims to end discrimination and promote unity, social and cultural solidarity, tolerance, and harmony among the Nepali people.
  • The constitution recognizes all native languages spoken by different communities in Nepal as national languages and provides citizenship with identity to all Nepali citizens.
  • Fundamental rights such as the right to live with dignity, freedom, equality, and justice are enshrined in the constitution, along with economic, social, and cultural rights.
  • Constitution Day serves as a reminder of the struggles and achievements of the Nepalese people in establishing a system of governance by their own elected representatives and the ongoing efforts to ensure its wider acceptance and implementation.

As Nepal celebrates Constitution Day, it is an opportunity for reflection on the journey thus far and the path ahead. It is a day to honor the sacrifices made by thousands who fought for democracy and to recognize the responsibility of every citizen to uphold the values enshrined in the constitution. Constitution Day serves as a call to action, to continue working towards a more just, inclusive, and prosperous Nepal for all.

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